Do you want to compose music for video games?


About Dan & the VGM Academy

Dan Hulsman, Boston Strong

Dan Hulsman, creator of Video Game Music Academy

Hi!  My name is Dan, and I’m here because I am passionate about helping aspiring video game music composers get their careers started.

I know what it’s like to dream of being a game music composer but not know where to start!  It’s frustrating, and there aren’t a whole lot of resources out there that have the true beginner in mind.  There’s a lot to learn and a lot to do, and finding the right information can be TOUGH.

This is why I’m here to help you to focus on the most important aspects of game audio and the business skills you’ll need to successfully find work and make a living.

Even though I was a Music Education major in college, my university’s music department provided little in the way of support for a wannabe composer who got into music late in life.  I found my opportunities to engage with others to learn composition extremely limited as a result of my extremely limited musical experience prior to college, introductory-level piano skills, and my two strongest instruments – my voice and my guitar – were not integrated into the existing Music Composition major/minor at the college.  To make matters worse, if you had never composed a day in your life but were interested in learning how there was NO pathway into the Music Composition major/minor.  ‘Pre-screening’ for the minor required prospective students to submit 3 pieces which demonstrated compositional experience (drat) for a variety of instruments.  The price of education was experience, and without experience I couldn’t access the education.  I felt like I had no chance to break into this world due to a lack of training and pre-existing knowledge, and you know what?  That feeling sucks.

To make matters worse, I had no one to nerd out with when it came to creating something.  Even if I wanted to take a stab at a project, I had no idea how to meet other like-minded folks or connect with beginning game developers.  The thought of getting paid to do what I wanted to do seemed so far away that it would never be reachable.  I ended up going down a different path: sales and marketing.  At the time, I didn’t really see how this unexpected path would be terribly helpful to anyone other than a big company – until I started to notice something.  Over time, I found myself in more and more conversations with small business owners and independent contractors who seemed to have a lot of the same questions about attracting the right customers/clients, making consistent money with their skills, and running a healthy little business.  Suddenly, I could put my sales and marketing expertise to use and help these folks navigate the waters.

Over the past couple of years, I’ve learned more and more about technology, marketing, business, and breaking down skills/processes to innovate and create easier ways to accomplish difficult tasks and learn complex skill sets.  I’ve helped hundreds of companies, business owners, and independent contractors find new opportunities, meet and delight new clients, and increase their income using a little elbow grease and some sales/marketing expertise.  Now, I want to use everything I’ve learned to help the community of video game audio professionals out there tackle those same problems.

Still with me so far?  You’re such a trooper.  Thanks for reading, and don’t be a stranger – I’d love to hear from you!

-Dan Hulsman

Video Game Music Academy

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